June 6, 2012

LIFE is Good ... it's conference recap time!

This post is overdo... 
and a little bit resented!

I wrote out this glorious, happy happy, life is awesome post 2 days ago. A loooong post. A detailed post. A post to top all posts. When I went to publish it; the thing vanished. Poof. Gone. 
WTF, yo?!

I had a bit of a tantrum for 2 days, and then decided that the bitch wasn't coming back, so I could either scrap the whole thing and instead blog about my camera ... or I could suck it the hell up and recap the conference post again. I already edited the photos for the LiG post, so I suppose we'll just go with that one again. However, I'm damn sure it's not going to be as WooHoo as my vanished post. Lets roll! (***there are a few videos embedded into this post. If you're reading on a subscription feed be sure to click over to the blog so you can see them!)

fun in the hotel gym

I heard about this conference just 3 or 4 days before it started. I wasn't part of the Facebook or Yahoo groups, didn't know a soul involved, sometimes struggle with social anxiety, and was so very excited to scramble like a mad-woman trying to make this thang happen. The hotel was booked, but we were lucky enough to be able to snag a room through another member that no longer needed it. We had the room, we had the money (*just enough; we're broke now), we were only an hour and a half away, and we were filled with such giddy-ness. LiG ... here we come!!!    

As I mentioned in my previous post ... because of a family situation that completely bogged my focus and confidence; I wasn't as social as I wanted to be, and didn't make the connections I was so excited for ... but we had SUCH a great time anyway! I mean, c'mon ... there was an 80's party! I don't need much else then that!

We had such a GREAT time at the 80's party.
Even with a photo of Nick before he took off. 
we make this look goooood

We looove to dance! Especially if it's crazy 80's style dancing.
No fancy dance moves to perfect ... you just have to wiggle like you're being electrocuted!

Hey Cyndi... girls aren't the only ones who just wanna have fun!

We've called ourselves unschoolers for 8 years now, yet this was our very first unschooling conference. So intoxicating; being around so many other unschoolers. Not being questioned, judged, seeing "the look", having to explain, ahhhh ... so refreshing. So freeing. I'll say it again ... so intoxicating. Who needs booze when you've got a hotel full of unschoolers, baby! I've got a cussing story to tell. I started to write it here but stopped after three paragraphs. Decided that it deserved a blog post of it's own. So, more on this subject here ;-)!

In the meantime... 

The kids were really very excited about the hotel pool, but when all was said and done, only two of them enjoyed the pool. And only for about 40 minutes. There was just SO much stuff to do. Funshops galore! Yoga, legos, nerf, carnival, hooping, nerf, music, paper folding, nerf, minecraft (their new obsession, btw), dancing, nerf, film festival, talent show, nerf, games, crafts, nerf, nerf, nerf, nerf. 

Grave yard of the epic Nerf Battle had in the park.
The boys nerfed their asses off through-out the entire conference.

They enjoyed nerfing!
And they wanted everyone else to enjoy nerfing, so Rylan came up with the idea to rent out their nerf guns. For the low, low price of $1, conference goers could rent a nerf gun for 30 minutes! Along with their rental station, they were also selling our food (lol), drawings, pens, hot wheels, play-do, and whatever other misc thing they could find in their backpacks. They crack me freak up! I can't believe I forgot to take a photo of their renting/selling table. All cute. They made quite a bit of money, too ... and they spent most of it on the other kids' "UNtrepreneurial" tables. It was so cute watching the money cycle around from table to table. 

There was a talent show. The kids decided the morning of that they wanted to participate, so we filled out the forms and were sooo excited for the show! An unschooling talent show ... does it get better!!!

Owen wanted to sing and dance to Michael Jackson's "Beat It", and he enlisted his two brothers to be his backup dancers. He was having trouble getting the mic to work for him, which made him a little nervous, so he quickly wanted to pass the mic over to Larson. Larson was hesitant at first because he knew how excited Owen was to perform, but he could also see how nervous Owen was becoming with the troubled mic ... so, Big Brother to the rescue!

Rylan! Sweet, sweet Rylan. He wanted to do a quick magic trick before his hoop performance, but there was some trouble with the music starting too soon. That threw him off his game a little bit, so the magic trick there in the beginning is a little hard to understand. I saw him practicing before the show - so I know he rocked it!  And his sweet little hooping always brings a smile!

Larson, or should we call him Rock Star?! This boy has always loved to perform. He owns the freak out of that stage, doesn't he?

As you can tell by those videos ... we're a hooping family. We don't pick up the hoop nearly as often as we talk about it, lol, so getting our skill set in order is a very slow process, very, very, very slow process  ... but we still enjoy the hell out of it. Excited were we to find out there was a hooping funshop! I'm pretty sure a bigger room will need to be had in the future; I call that a success! Go hoopers, go hoopers, go!

Hoop Dance Party ... for the win!!!
Someone captured a photo with all four of us in it.
Word!!! <3

Prom was another thing that had me super excited. Any chance to shake my groove thang! And with 3 of the most handsome men by my side - well, that dance floor didn't stand a chance!

My PROM dates! 

We didn't dress all fancy like, but we sure did dance our hearts out.

Dance floor cheesin'

"seriously, mom, my legs are about to dance off of me ... I think I need a break"
Haaa!! We took a fiver.

Some super sweet slow dance swaying with my honey.
*those aren't my boobs* ;-)

The last night of the conference there was a concert. But between all of the fun we were having throughout the conference, and the few daily stops to the room for an emotional crying breakdown ... I was exhausted! So that last night we put a movie in, made some food, and decided we were just going to relax in the room for the night. After we ate, the kids wanted to quickly pop downstairs to check their Fairy Godparent mailboxes one last time before that game was all over. While the kids were checking their boxes, I heard the beautiful voice of Amy Steinberg floating in the air, and we decided to head into the concert room to finish listening to that one song. "Just this one song and then lets go back to the room". We pulled up a couple of chairs in the back of the room, and swayed to her music. I was mesmerized.

I can't even put into words what her words did for me that night. Her music, her lyrics ... they cut straight through me. All of the upheaval and trauma that was playing out before me during the entire conference, while I worked my damnedest to stay present, to stay in a place of blessed being, while I dug deep to find the strength I know I possess and the optimism that can be so alluding in these times ... all of that was being sung about. Her words; as though they were written for me. To me. About me. The power and energy she was floating in while singing... all meant for me. Narcissistic? Perhaps, but I don't give a damn, dammit. She was singing TO ME! I was in tears; both happy and sad. My crying would turn to smiling, and then laughing, and then back to crying. Round and Round and Round. One song turned into two, and then three, and before I knew it the concert was over, and I was forever changed! Amy Steinberg ... I already told you this, but you're fucking amazing!

this little man enjoyed the concert, too ... but his emotional turmoil exhausted him to the point of not being able to hold his eyelids open for another second. <3

And that was that. Our first unschooling conference. Oooh what a time we had together. Thanks LIFE is Good! We enjoyed the hell out of you!


  1. Mary! I'm glad there was a long bathroom line that day ... gave us some time to chat. So good to have met you! They boys loved visitors at their Nerf table :-)

  2. Chessa, (if I'm not confusing you with someone else; I hope I'm not :-/) your son was great! He and I chatted more then he actually played in the battle, lol. That will be one of the moments of the conference that stick with me forever <3